Aruba was very nice, but sadly we were there on New Year's day so everything was closed. This is the perfect spot for the beach as the beaches are gorgeous. However, if you are not a beach-goer be sure to book this port of call during the week, or for a Saturday. Sundays and holidays leave the downtown area rather quite.
The day we went it was 40 degrees C/104 degrees F, so it was too hot to stay on island for very long. We got off the ship around 10h00, took a little excursion, walked downtown and were back on the boat by 12h30. If you like it hot, this place is perfect.
What a fun little island, minus all of the firecrackers in the street going off every few minutes, scaring the poor tourists half to death. It's a custom on the island for New Year's Eve... We did not know that. The first few times we heard it, we thought we were being shot at--no joke.
This was a very culturally diverse place. I'd go back.
This was a nice experience. We did not realise at the time of booking that we needed to take tenders from the main ship to the shore as the island did not have a dock. This was not a major issue, it's just that it creates a bottle neck when trying to get on and off the island.
My recommendations are to:
1. Rent a villa in the Sanctuary portion of the island. The food service, and the beverage service are fantastic, and you have peace and quiet with an A/C cooled villa where you can eat your lunch.
2. Get to the tenders, early to get on and off the island. If you are in a suite, use your fast pass, but remember it does not work on the way back from the island. When leaving the island be sure not to wait until the last minute to get in line. It will be hot, and there is very little shade while you stand in line to load the tenders to get back to the main ship.